Living arrangements and suicidal ideation among the Korean older adults

Jibum Kim, Yun Suk Lee, Jinkook Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines how living arrangements are associated with suicidal ideation for older adults in South Korea, which has the highest suicide rate among OECD countries, and a particularly high suicide rate for older persons. Methods: Analyzing a sample of 5795 women and 3758 men aged 65 and older from a nationwide representative cross-sectional data-set, we examined how many older adults think about suicide over a one-year period, why they think about suicide, and whether living arrangements are associated with suicidal ideation. Results: About 1 out of 12 respondents in our sample reported suicidal ideation. While women and men did not differ in the prevalence of suicidal ideation, women attributed their suicidal feelings to health problems, while men attributed theirs to economic difficulties. Logistic regression results indicated that living arrangements are associated with suicidal ideation for men but not women. Older men living with a spouse were less likely to have suicidal ideation than older men with other living arrangements (i.e., living alone, living with children without spouse, living with spouse, and others). Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of living arrangements to older men's suicidal ideation. We discuss gender differences in the implications of living arrangements to suicidal ideation within the context of Confucian culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1313
Number of pages9
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume20
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Korean older people
  • living arrangement
  • suicidal ideation

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Living arrangements and suicidal ideation among the Korean older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this